Tapioca is made from starch that has been extracted from cassava root which is a tuber that is used as a staple food source in some parts of the world.
It is particularly popular in South America and has a tendency to grow in subtropical and tropical regions.
Ginger originally comes from Southeast Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that is most well known for the pungent and aromatic roots that we use to flavor food or to cure ailments.
The big question is whether you can eat these two roots together. If you too are curious then make sure to read more.
Cassava And Ginger
To answer our main question about whether you can eat tapioca with ginger, we need to take a look at where tapioca comes from.
As we have said before, tapioca is made out of cassava. But, did you know that if you have been eating cassava it is not recommended that you eat or drink anything that has ginger in it?
This can include ginger beer, ginger biscuits, or a curry with ginger added.
The reason you should not be eating ginger after consuming cassava is because there is an enzyme called Linamarase in ginger which can catalyze the conversion of cyanide containing compounds into hydrogen cyanide.
This substance can be extremely lethal to humans if it is consumed in the wrong amounts.
So why is cassava bad for you? Well, cassava can be dangerous to consume on its own when it is eaten raw. This is especially the case when it is eaten raw or the cook has not prepared it the correct way.
Raw cassava has chemicals in it called cyanogenic glycosides which can release cyanide into your digestive system if it is consumed.
So, is anything that is made from cassava poisonous? Well, no. There are ways to prepare this root that make it edible for humans.
For example, if you crush or pound the cassava leaves and then boil them you can quite easily get rid of about ninety-seven percent of all cyanogenic glucosides.
If you want to make cassava safe to eat by way of boiling you will need to make sure that it is peeled into a pot of boiling water that has a teaspoon of salt and turmeric in it.
You will then need to cook the cassava until it is tender which will take about twenty minutes in total.
So, you see, cassava is perfectly edible as long as it is prepared properly.
What Is Tapioca?
Tapioca is a byproduct of cassava root which is made from starch.
If you are a frequent consumer of tapioca you will know that you can often purchase this product in either a powder form or a pear form so you can purchase a format that suits your needs.
Tapioca is popularly used in desserts or beverages. This heavy carbohydrate will usually consist of the same nutritional value as the cassava root itself.
Below is a list of some of the nutrients that you can find in a serving of tapioca:
- Calories – Fifty-One
- Protein – Zero Grams
- Fat – Zero Grams
- Fiber – 0.1 Grams
- Sugar – 0.5 Grams
- Carbohydrates – 12.6 Grams
The consumption of tapioca can be a good source of other minerals and vitamins like calcium and zinc.
So, how is tapioca so healthy and so dangerous at the same time? Well, the answer lies in poorly prepared batches.
Tapioca and other cassava products have the potential to cause cyanide poisoning if they are poorly prepared.
But does this mean that eating tapioca and ginger will kill you? The short answer is that because tapioca is so processed it is very unlikely to kill you even if you consume it with ginger-based products.
But if you want to take extra care before you consume your ginger and tapioca treat it is recommended to soak the tapioca in boiling water for a few minutes as this will reduce the amount of cyanide in the tapioca.
The key to eating tapioca with minimal risk is proper preparation.
How To Properly And Safely Prepare Tapioca
One of the best ways to prepare tapioca is to use the thirty and thirty method. Below is a simple step-by-step guide you can follow for safe tapioca preparation:
The first thing you will need to do is get a large pot and add eight cups of water to it and then bring it to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil you will need to add the tapioca.
It is recommended to add a half cup of tapioca for every eight cups of water as a half cup of tapioca will normally produce one whole cup of pearls when it is cooked.
You will need to leave the tapioca to boil for thirty minutes before moving on to step three.
Once the thirty minutes have elapsed you can take the pot off the stove and put a lid on the pot for thirty minutes.
Once the tapioca has rested you should strain the pearls and then run them under cold water so that any excess starch can be washed away.
Now comes the fun part, the taste test. Pop a tapioca pearl in your mouth and chew it. A properly cooked tapioca pearl should be chewy throughout.
Do not be put off by pearls that have an opaque center, as they may be cooked despite their appearance. If the center of your tapioca pearls is hard then you need to repeat the whole process again.
If your pearls are done, now is the time to add any sweetener to them. We recommend adding sugar or honey if you want a simple yet tasty sweet treat.
Is Ginger And Tapioca Safe To Eat Together?
We have gone over how products that are made from cassava root have the POTENTIAL to cause cyanide poisoning.
However, this is more likely to happen with raw cassava root that has been poorly prepared. Tapioca is more processed and at that stage, the vast majority of cyanide has been removed.
After boiling it at home it should be safe to consume with ginger products, in moderation of course.
There are actually a ton of great recipes out there that use ginger and tapioca. Below are a few examples:
- Duck with Tapioca and Ginger Infused Rhubarb Syrup by Ocado
- Lemon Ginger Tapioca Pudding by Clean Eating Mag
- Ginger Cassava Cake by The Feed Feed
- Ginger Tapioca Pudding with Lychees and Mint by Little Big H
There are a ton of other great recipes that merge ginger and tapioca. So, as long as you are careful and prepare your tapioca properly you can enjoy these two great foods together. Have a fantastic day!